Why does my church need a check-in system?

Imagine this scenario: A parent at your church comes up to you when church is over and frantically says they can’t find their child. Do you know what to do first? Do your volunteers know what to do if there is a missing child? Is your church ready to react if the safety of a child was ever threatened?

If you’re in children’s ministry, this is a terrifying situation that can happen in an instant. And it can end in devastation if your church isn’t ready to take the proper safety precautions.

Many churches, especially smaller ones, think it’s unnecessary to have a check-in system because “everybody knows everybody.” Or they might have a check-in system but don’t really enforce it, because the volunteers know the kids and parents. But what about the new volunteer who joins the team? What about the first-time guest who doesn’t know anyone in the church? If your children’s ministry is growing and effective, you will be adding new volunteers and experiencing first-time guests. An electronic check-in system can be vital to ensuring the safety of your children.

Churches are as much at risk as any place for child abuse and abduction, if not more because it is sometimes assumed that there aren’t a lot of security measures in place at churches.

The Kidmin App electronic check-in system provides the safety and security any church needs, no matter its size. Our check-in system issues an adhesive tag for the child to wear and a matching pick-up tag for the parent/guardian. In order to pick up their child, the parent must present the pick-up tag to the ministry leader or volunteer. This ensures  the right person picks up the right child every time. It helps prevent someone from coming into your children’s ministry and abducting a child, or a non-custodial parent from taking the child. The Kidmin App check-in system helps protect the children in your church, as well as the parents and volunteers. Once your church has a system in place for keeping kids safe, you are freed up to focus on teaching them about Jesus.

Here are 10 things to consider when deciding if your church should use the Kidmin App electronic check-in system:

  1. We can’t tell kids about Jesus if we don’t first keep them safe. Our goal every Sunday is to allow churches to point kids to the Lord and teach them that He loves them. If the proper systems for their safety aren’t in place, parents may not feel comfortable leaving their children.
  2. Electronic check-in is faster. Parents can quickly check their children in at the check-in station. Or, if express check-in is enabled, parents can check in on their mobile device before they ever enter the building. Then, they just pick up the tags when they walk in – it takes seconds! And this frees up your volunteer’s time to focus on new visitors.
  3. Helps you quickly identify return visitors. After a new family is added to the check-in system the first time, their information is saved. Anytime they return after that they have only to type in their phone number, and their information pops up. That helps them feel welcome and lets your volunteers know they’ve been here before.
  4. Real-time tracking ensures safe ratios in all classrooms. Current numbers can be accessed from anywhere by you or any approved volunteer. You can be in another part of the building and pull up the service in real-time to see how many kids are checked into your nursery, and quickly decide if more help is needed.
  5. Helps guests feel comfortable leaving their kids.An electronic check-in communicates that your church takes safety seriously. Parents can also put special instructions on their child’s adhesive tag, such as food allergies, etc., allowing volunteers to simply glance at a tag and identify key information.
  6. Quickly page parents/guardians if issues arise. Kidmin App has a paging feature that allows any volunteer in the room to either scan the child’s tag or pull up the class roster, and quickly page the parent/guardian. A text is sent to the parent’s phone immediately.
  7. Reports & Attendance tracking. You can pull reports and data that helps you keep track of who is coming each week. Use this to compare numbers and see who is new to your church and if they’ve returned, and make note of upcoming birthdays and follow-up. (*Popular Plan* feature only)
  8. It helps prevent parents from leaving their children in the classroom too early or too late after church.You can set up specific check-in and check-out time windows. This ensures parents must wait until a volunteer is in the room to drop off and pick up their child.
  9. Helps ensure compliance with mandated check-in/check-out safety procedures. Many church insurance companies require specific safety procedures (be sure to check with your attorney to find out yours). If you have them, Kidmin App helps make it a little easier for your volunteers to enforce procedures for all children and parents (even your pastor’s kids!).
  10. The size of your church doesn’t matter. Whether your church has ten kids or 1,000 kids, your ministry is responsible for keeping them safe. You can use Kidmin App with any number of children and families. As your church grows, it will be vital to have a system in place that ensures their safety.

Once you decide to get a check-in system, you can determine if you want to use self check-in stations, or volunteer-manned stations, or a combination of multiple check-in spots at your church. However you set it up, it needs to be clear to your parents and followed consistently. Parents (or even grandparents) might initially be put off by what feels like the extra step it takes to check their kids in and out, but ultimately they will appreciate you taking the safety of their kids seriously.  God has entrusted churches with his children, and we have a responsibility to keep them safe.